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Constraint Analysis: A Design Process for Specifying Operations on Objects
December 1990 (vol. 2 no. 4)
pp. 391-400

A design process for an object-oriented database design environment, known as constraint analysis, is presented. Given the increased level of semantics associated with an object-oriented database schema, constraint analysis makes use of semantics expressed as database constraints to support the flexible specification of propagation actions for operations on objects. Constraints are formally represented using Horn logic. The constraint analysis process then reasons about constraints at design time to help the designer understand the effects of constraints on object manipulation, identifying possible constraint violations as well as design alternatives for handling violations. An advantage of constraint analysis is that both inherent and explicit schema constraints are included in the analysis process. A formal representation is given that supports the analysis of constraints and the automatic identification of design alternatives for responding to constraint violations.

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Index Terms:
design process; design process; object-oriented database design environment; constraint analysis; semantics; object-oriented database schema; database constraints; flexible specification; propagation actions; Horn logic; object manipulation; constraint violations; design alternatives; explicit schema constraints; formal representation; automatic identification; formal logic; formal specification; object-oriented databases; object-oriented programming
Citation:
S.D. Urban, L.M.L. Delcambre, "Constraint Analysis: A Design Process for Specifying Operations on Objects," IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering, vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 391-400, Dec. 1990, doi:10.1109/69.63251
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